Paddle culture runs deep in Whitehorse (pop. 23,000). In fact, this capital city got its name from the Whitehorse Rapids on the Yukon River, which posed a major obstacle to Klondike stampeders. Today everyone in this vibrant small town seems to own a canoe, and there's a whitewater park under development on the Yukon River downtown. Whitehorse's locale offers a host of paddling options like weekend trips down the Tatshenshini's upper canyon and is the jump-off point for many renowned fly-in expeditions into the Yukon's storied frontier.
Whitehorse also is the start of the 444-mile Yukon River Quest, the longest annual canoe and kayak race in the world. Paddlers go round-the-clock to Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike, during the last week of June in a true “Race to the Midnight Sun.” -- Jim Baird
See more: NORTH AMERICA’S BEST PADDLING TOWNS.
This story will appear in the June 2015 issue of Canoe & Kayak.